The Duchess of Sussex has been choosing jewelry with a message

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By
January 26, 2019 10:00 AM

Meghan Markle is choosing jewelry with a message in a way no royal ever has.

On a visit to Birkenhead last week, Meghan wore three different jewelry designers, all of whom share contemporary values of sustainability and giving back.

Among the brands the Duchess of Sussex, 37, debuted: Bar Jewellery, a sustainable label founded by London-based Sophie McKay, who uses recycled silver and avoids chemicals in the manufacturing process. The royal mom-to-be wore McKay’s chic gold-plated Wide Ripple Bracelet ($305). “It’s amazing that high-profile people like Meghan are promoting brands like mine,” McKay tells PEOPLE. “It’s so great that the royal family supports us.”

Bar Jewellery

It’s not McKay’s first brush with royalty. When Queen Elizabeth attended London Fashion Week last February, she visited the jeweler’s stand and the pair chatted about another sustainable feature of the brand. “She said the designs were very nice and we spoke about local production, how everything is made in London – it was very cool and a complete surprise!”

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In addition to the elegant bracelet, Meghan re-wore a pair of gold earrings from her go-to ethical jewelry brand, Pippa Small. Meghan’s Nosheen Stud Earrings ($60) are made by the artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, an Afghanistan-based charity set up by Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles. The foundation trains and employs young people within the arts and crafts industry in Kabul, providing stability and income for many families in the war-torn country.

Meghan Markle wears a thumb ring by i+i Jewellery.
DANNY LAWSON/AFP/Getty

Lastly, the stylish royal wore a delicate gold ring on her thumb by contemporary jewelry line i+i Jewellery. The Crescent Moon Ring ($242) is handmade in 14-karat gold — and the founder, Kirsty Patterson, who trained under Mick Jagger’s daughter, Jade Jagger, donates 10% of all profits to the Indian charity Set Beautiful Free, an initiative that helps free women and children from sex slavery.

For much more on Meghan’s ethical fashion, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

“Even if people can’t afford to buy the exact same piece of jewelry, it’s making people think about not using plastic and buying less,” says McKay. “It’s about being more thoughtful in general.”

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